As part of an early look at next year’s Oscars, Prize Fighter — in an ongoing series — is highlighting several of the directors and official entries submitted by a whopping 71 countries competing for the Academy Award for best foreign language film.
No. No. NO!
For such a small word, it packs incredible, immediate power shouted in the name of freedom, as in Chile’s official Oscar foreign film entry No, directed by Pablo Larraín (Tony Manero, Post Mortem) and starring Gael García Bernal.
Based on a pivotal moment in Chile’s history, the movie delves into the dueling “YES” and “NO” ad campaigns that aired on TV when dictator Augusto Pinochet scheduled a referendum in 1988, after 15 years in power, for citizens to vote “yes” or “no” to keep him as president another eight years. The movie, adapted from the play El Plebiscito by Antonio Skármeta, has a gritty, realistic feel, shot on videotape and weaving in actual footage from the campaigns. Bernal plays the fictional commercials ad man René Saavedra, who heads up the creatively astute, humorous, and hopeful coalition NO campaign, which beat out the Pinochet-driven YES campaign. Each campaign had 15 minutes of TV airtime a night for 27 days, with the NO campaign’s ad relegated to late night.